On 1 April 2020, Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore and Vice Minister Luo Zhaohui of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China co-chaired the virtual Singapore-China Joint Meeting on COVID-19. The meeting was also attended by representatives from both sides covering education, trade and industry, customs and immigration, transport, health, and manpower.
The Chinese side briefed on its progress on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 outbreak as well as economic and social development in China under the leadership of H.E. President Xi Jinping, and expressed gratitude to the Singaporean side for its support and assistance. The Singaporean side outlined the efforts made to prevent, contain, and control the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore. Both sides were confident in their respective abilities to fight and overcome the long-term threat of COVID-19.
Both sides expressed deep concern over the pandemic that is spreading worldwide, and agreed to strengthen bilateral, regional and global cooperation to address the global threat.
Both sides exchanged views on the control and treatment measures taken to combat the outbreak and spread of the virus; agreed to share diagnostic and treatment good practices, and explore joint research and development of medicines and vaccines; agreed on the importance of sustainable measures to manage the public health risks, while gradually restoring normalcy to people-to-people interaction and economic exchanges; and agreed to provide facilitation and support, as appropriate, to the nationals residing in each other’s country on their medical treatment and stay.
Both sides agreed to, while continuing to safeguard public health, discuss the provision of convenient access to the flow of necessary personnel, maintain smooth and open air and sea freight lines, ensure free trade flows and facilitate the flow of goods, including essential medical supplies and food, as well as ensure the integrity of supply chains. Both sides highlighted the importance of maintaining the good progress in our three Government-to-Government projects as well as other priority cooperation projects between the two countries, and further deepen cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative. Both sides agreed to further strengthen trade connectivity between Western China and Southeast Asia, through the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative-New International Land Sea Trade Corridor (CCI-ILSTC).
Both sides exchanged views on the impact of COVID-19 at the regional level and agreed to explore ways to provide support where necessary to regional countries on epidemic prevention and control. They also agreed on the importance of the resumption of production and trade flows. Both sides spoke highly of the ASEAN-China Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19 and the related medical experts’ video conference, and agreed to support a meeting at a larger scale and higher level so as to strengthen the regional capacity to address public health emergencies, mitigate economic and financial risks, and maintain regional stability and development.
Both sides agreed that COVID-19 is a global public health emergency that does not respect nationality, race or borders. Both sides called on countries around the world to work together to address this transboundary threat for the protection and well-being of our peoples.